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Independents should be heard too

Letter to editor

POSTED: March 13, 2012 3:30 p.m.

Editor, I am an Atlanta native and currently reside there. I am also an independent voter who joins a national conference call every other month with 130 independent voter activists who are working to open up our frozen political process.
We are lobbying our representatives for Congressional hearings to investigate the systematic bias against Americans who identify as independent voters. As one example of this profound bias, oversight organizations such as the Federal Elections Commission have only Democrats and Republicans as members. Polls show that independents are the largest bloc of voters in America and we have no representation on the FEC !
As independents, we are not swing voters. And we are not trying to form a third party (many independents don’t like parties). We want structural reforms that break the partisan grip on our political process which is deadlocked and deprives us of our citizenship. We are democracy activists!
Once upon a time, there were powerful unions to represent the interests of working Americans. Unions had flaws, but union members were politically active citizens and together they commanded the attention of their elected representatives. All of the employee benefits we enjoy today (and which are being eroded) came from this period of American history when working people organized and wielded great power in national and local government.
Unions have been under attack and losing ground for years. Today our government listens to huge corporations and billionaire donors.  Working Americans are shut out.
At almost 40 percent of the electorate, independent voters have the numbers to wield effective power. Our numbers are large and growing. Why do you think they shut us out? But only if we organize can we prevail.
Independent voters are organizing to demand that Congress hold hearings to spotlight the barriers to political participation that independents face. We are the 40 percent. We want representation. We demand a fair shake. We are organizing to take our democracy back!

— Diane Dickson, Member

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